Bob Franken


July 5, 2007
Mom, Pop and Apple Pieowa (Bob Franken)
@ 10:41 am

Hillary and Bill and Mitt and Ann. Omigod: Talk about a meeting of the platitudinous TITANS! There they were, “Spouse of” Bill Clinton, showing he still has that ability to talk while biting his lower lip, and Mitt Romney, with wife, showing he can move his lips and say very little. Meanwhile, candidate Hillary as usual was no slouch either with the cliches, both in the chance encounter with the Romneys and everywhere else.

Oh yeah, she has a new slogan: “Ready for change, ready to lead.” I think that replaces “More taste, less filling.”

For the most part, the candidates were serving up that native dish in Iowa: white bread. It was almost refreshing to hear also-running Joe Biden show his dark side by calling the president of the United States “brain dead.”

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July 3, 2007
D.C. Commuting (Bob Franken)
@ 10:32 am

I’ve been taught by the master, my fellow Pundits Blogger and old friend Lanny Davis, in the art of the “Friday Night Dump.” Those of us covering all the public relations disasters of the Clinton presidency, finessed so often by Lanny, never made plans for Friday night.

So I was surprised the White House made this a MONDAY night dump instead of waiting one day to make sure EVERYONE was somewhere else for the Fourth.

But that should be the only surprise. Forget the political analysis that President Bush needs to keep intact what little support he has left. There are actually some arguments for his commuting Scooter Libby, based on the merits, of all things.

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July 2, 2007
No Refunds, No Returns (Bob Franken)
@ 11:18 am

What if you were asked to buy a television set, but you know that this brand didn’t work as advertised? The picture was terrible; so was the audio. It broke down all the time. It just didn’t deliver on any of its promises. And by the way, its electrical wiring, designed by corporations that put profits over safety, would set your house on fire. Call me crazy, but you wouldn’t buy it, now would you?

Moving right along: Let’s talk about a government that doesn’t work. Its services are routinely mishandled, badly. Its powers abused. The people in charge are grossly incompetent. Its policies, military and otherwise, cause severe loss of life for no good reason. The only ones who really seem to prosper are the already-prosperous. Why buy that one either?

To some degree, we have no choice. The law requires that we all pay taxes, although not everyone must shell out a fair share. That’s for sure. But still, no one in his right mind refuses.

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June 29, 2007
As The Jim Crow Flies (Bob Franken)
@ 12:40 pm

Now for a quote: “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

That of course is the key finding in the 1954 landmark Brown decision, written by the chief justice, Earl Warren.

Now another definition from Webster’s — actually three synonyms — for chutzpah: Nerve, temerity, gall.

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June 28, 2007
Media Hustles (Bob Franken)
@ 10:22 am

Am I wrong or do you agree that Paris Hilton would be a terrific TV anchorwoman? I mean, she has what it takes: She’s blond. And she clearly has the intellect for it.

Yes, I know. That was a cheap shot. But cheap shots seem to be all around us. Take the New York Times and its series on Rupert Murdoch.

Far be it for me to defend his media. But the charges that they pander more than report are old news. And so are the accusations that Murdoch compromises them in the name of his business interests.

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